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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Pap test for cervical cancer

Pap test for cervical cancer

A Pap test is usually the first step in determining cervical health and is often performed as part of routine screening.

Most women are advised to get a Pap test starting at age 21. Depending on your age and risk, your doctor may also suggest an additional test for infection of human papillomavirus (HPV), because prior infection with high-risk types of HPV has been linked to an increased risk of cervical cancer.


What is a pap test?

During a Pap test, your doctor inserts a swab into the vagina and takes a sample of cervical cells, which are examined under a microscope. If abnormal cells are found, your doctor may order additional diagnostic tests for cervical cancer and other diseases.